The election in Battlefords-Lloydminster received another surprise Tuesday with news Sandra Arias has withdrawn as the NDP candidate for Battlefords-Lloydminster.
The stunning announcement was made on her Facebook candidate page Tuesday night and in that announcement she made it known the financial pressures of running a campaign were the reason for the decision.
Her NDP candidates’ page was down completely as of Tuesday night.
Arias’s withdrawal has left the local NDP scrambling with just four weeks remaining before the Oct. 19 vote.
However, it does appear the party has a replacement candidate in the works. According to an email from Arias to our newsroom, Glenn Tait is taking her place as the NDP candidate. Tait was the party’s nominee in the 2011 race.
But the NDP had yet to make an official announcement of a new candidate as of Wednesday morning. As well, any new NDP candidate will need to file nomination papers in time for Monday’s deadline to be on the ballot.
The news about Arias’s sudden departure from the race has been the latest surprise in a campaign that has seen more than its share of twists and turns.
Earlier this year, the Liberals nominated North Battleford city councillor Ray Fox, who later dropped out due to a controversial social media post and was replaced by Larry Ingram.
As well, just hours before news broke about Arias’s departure, high-profile former NDP MP and MLA Doug Anguish announced he was entering the race as an independent and would be filing nomination papers.
The other candidates are Mikaela Tenkink of the Green Party and incumbent Conservative Agriculture and Agri-Foods minister Gerry Ritz, whose nomination has been in place since last year. As of Wednesday both Ritz and Ingram had filed their nominations with Elections Canada and are confirmed to be on the ballot.
The following is the statement released by Arias announcing her withdrawal from the race:
Friends, family, fellow NDP,
It is with great disappointment and sadness that I announce my withdrawal from the 2015 Federal Election. Simply put, the financial strain of a historically long election has been just too much to bear for myself and my family.
I am so thankful for the support and commitment of the surrounding First Nations, specifically all the chief and councils of BATC, and the independent First Nations around the Battlefords-Lloydminster riding. Further, ... all those who have stood up and proudly lifted the NDP banner in wholehearted support.
It is an exciting time for our riding as many of the First Nations have pledged to "get out the Vote 2015"! As I exit from the election race, I want to encourage everyone who has committed to vote to maintain that commitment to the NDP. Vote for the candidate who will be taking my place, as this is a difficult position to hold.
This riding can change, if you want it to change, into a more representative and agreeable riding where divisions can be closed and relationships built. It must! Let's keep moving forward and let’s take the NDP all the way to a majority in Ottawa on Oct. 19, 2015. Hiy Hiy!